Let’s Talk Event Fencing
When planning begins for an event, one of the first things to do is decide if the perimeter will be enclosed and if so, how? There are many options depending on the size of the event and how secure it needs to be. There are also a lot of different terms to describe the temporary fencing that goes up around events. Steel barricades are common and can be referred to as “steel,” “fence,” “bike rack,” or “bike rack barricades” – no matter which term is used the same problems come up.
Pedestrian barricades made of steel tend to bend and rust over time, making them even more cumbersome for event staff to deal with. They take a long time to set up, especially if the feet need to be bolted in place. Plus the feet can be unstable and if barricades are pushed over the crashing noise can cause chaos in a crowd. The Billboard Barricade is an alternative to steel that meets the needs of event producers and adds another component of value with the built-in display panel.
Let’s listen in on a conversation between two event professionals talking about the practical issues that come up when comparing plastic to steel barricades. Our Director of Events, Patrick, has worked on large and small events, mostly notably serving as the Assistant Director/Technical Director for the Utah Arts Fest. The Arts Fest is a multi-disciplined outdoor arts event that attracts more than 80,000 participants each year. When ArtsQuest in Pennsylvania was considering switching from their steel barricades, Patrick answered some questions we get all the time. Let’s face it, people want to know if plastic barricades can really stand up to steel. Here’s how the conversation went.
Event Barricade Q & A
Q: One of my main concerns is how the Billboard Barricade holds up compared to a steel barricade. Care and maintenance aside, would you say that the Billboard Barricade holds up as well as a steel barricade? Have you experienced any bending or cracking of the plastic?
A: I find that they hold up better. Have not had anything on them break, bend or crack. I find steel fencing/barricade incredibly difficult to move, and the connection pieces bend. Let alone, it looks like people are in a cage rather than on a VIP patio.
Q: Did you ever have any problems with the fold in feet? For example, breaking or folding in while in place?
A: The feet work great. When you have new fence pieces they are very tight and take some effort to move down and turn into place. Over time, they loosen up. But like I said, have not had any break, or become unusable.
Q: How does the mobility factor help you and your team during the setup & breakdown phases of your events?
A: These are far superior to steel barricade for moving, placing and tearing down. Very, Very stackable and easy to store in our warehouse.
Q: Do you still use steel barricades? If so, are there certain areas at your events that you use the Billboard Barricade instead of steel?
A: We do not use any steel barricade at our event… I don’t like steel barricade, can you tell??
Q: How well does the Billboard Barricade hold up in high winds?
A: We do use water in some of our entrance barricades to help with wind. We have not had to use the ballasting enhancements, but I have seen it at other venues and looks very good and sturdy.
Q: Do you ballast in areas where patrons are likely to lean on the fence?
A: We generally have a pretty ‘mellow’ crowd at the Utah Arts Festival, and have not had to use any ballasting for leaning or crowd surging. Once they are connected together, they are very sturdy as a unit.
Q: What do you do to ballast on paved surfaces? Can you pin the feet to the ground or do you just use water or sand?
A: Just water. We have used some sandbags on opposites sides and alternate feet. This helped with a windy year. If you have places on grass, and are prone to winds, I would use the ballasting system.
Q: Would you say that the Billboard Barricade helped to decrease injuries in the workplace? For example, cuts, scrapes, pinching of fingers, etc.
A: I would say it has reduced injury. Previously we rented would fence from our rental company… I know I got poked in the hands and fingers with nails, screws and slivers. Plus, these are much lighter weight. Two average people can carry 3 properly stacked sections at a time.
Q: You mentioned that OTW can work on the signage for the fence pieces. Do you use their services or do you work with a local signage company to fulfill your signage needs?
A: We did use their signage service. It was great, and they have the hardware to attach the signs to the barricade… one stop shopping.
More Than Event Barricades!
OTW Safety not only provides high-quality event barricades, but we can help with your event planning and safety too! Our events team has years of experience with events as large as the Utah Arts Festival, which draws over 80,000 visitors in only four days. OTW’s event planning services include site mapping, venue design, sponsorship consulting, event signage, logistics, set up, and management. Event safety services include insurance consulting, operations management, and on-site security.
The billboard barricade is our most popular solution for any type of event. These event barriers are colorful, sturdy, and interlock for increased stability. They also feature display panels that support 36” x 29.5” custom printed signs. These are often used to advertise future events or recognize sponsors.
For an even sturdier line of event barricades, our Jersey Shape LCD barricades can be used for events that require more substantial delineation. Empty they weigh 80 pounds each but ballasted with water they can weigh up to 1,330 pounds. For added privacy or security, fence panels can be also be attached to the event barriers.
Use OTW For Your Next Event!With our most innovative product at the core of our site safety services, we’re confident we can help you improve the overall success of your event. Our team is here to help! Call us for more information.
Sponsorships are an important source of income for many of the events we serve. Consider an additional incentive that will get your sponsor’s brand in front of the most people possible – custom barricade signs for your crowd control barricades.
The billboard barricade was designed for advertising! We print big (36″ x 28.5″) colorful signs that attach cleanly to our barricades and stand up to sun or rain. Guests love being in a colorful, intentional space and sponsors love the visibility of their logos and messages.
One of the most unique features of our crowd barrier is the swiveling foot, which enables multiple barricades to be stacked flat for shipment or storage. Set-up is easy and without sharp edges or rusted sections to deal with, it goes faster too!